TRUSTING GOD IN THE MIDDLE OF DESPAIR by Rhonda Stoppe @incourage
“Father, how can You not heal my son?” I cried out. I fell at the foot of our bed after my son, Brandon, had another severe seizure. After making sure he was safe, I fled to my room to weep before the Lord.
Four years prior, my husband and I had planted a church where God was bringing teens to Christ. One night, Brandon had a seizure that lasted twenty-eight minutes, leaving him unconscious. When he finally awoke, my bright-eyed, articulate little boy could only speak baby talk. It was in this state that the paramedics flew Brandon to the nearest hospital.
On my drive to the hospital, I begged God not to let Brandon have brain damage as a result of such a long seizure. When I got to his room, I was relieved to find Brandon jumping on his bed shouting, “Momma, I rode on a helicopter!”
While they gave Brandon an EEG to study his brain activity, I walked over and kissed my sleeping six-year-old on the temple. The technician called me over, circled the read out and wrote, Mom’s kiss. She explained, “He knows you just kissed him.” (Crazy, right? Since that experience, I tell moms, “Kiss your kids while they’re asleep. They know you’re kissing them.”)
After four days in the hospital for tests and observation, we were told Brandon had “severe seizure activity in his brain.” How is this possible? He is completely normal, I thought. I was convinced there would be no more seizures for him, but sadly, another seizure did come . . . and another and another. For months, Brandon slept on a pallet on the floor next to our bed where I would lay on my stomach reaching down to hold his little hand just in case he might have a seizure in his sleep.
After a while, life took on a new kind of normal, visiting neurologists and administering strong medications to suppress the seizures. Because of the medication’s sedating effect, focusing at school became a struggle for him, and my heart ached when the principal explained Brandon would be assigned to special education classes at school.
Through it all, we were able to trust the Lord and believe His hand was upon our boy until that night four years later when I found myself in a puddle of tears after another severe seizure. I finally hit a breaking point. I prayed in desperation, “Lord, we are serving You. Kids are coming to Christ. Why won’t You heal my son? I’m done . . . I quit!”
In that moment of despair, God met me. I was ready to walk away, but my heart heard, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV). God was beckoning me to Himself. I tearfully asked Him to help me somehow be thankful for this trial. And do you know what God did? He changed my heart.
Ever so slowly, we watched our son, who had been too sedated to play sports, grow into an accomplished musician. Even though we’d hoped to hear the glory of the crowds in our son’s accomplishments as an athlete, God’s plan was to raise up our son to lead crowds to glory in His Son’s accomplishment through worship.
In over thirty-six years of ministry, I’ve watched moms walk away from God in the midst of their despair only to return years later. When trials come — and they will — realize God can do more to train your kids to trust Christ through your obedience than through any words you can ever speak.
Brandon is now grown and leads worship at a church in California. God’s ways truly were above ours, and when I almost walked away, God faithfully changed my heart to trust and obey Him. He will do the same for you.Tweet this: “In our Despair, God can change our hearts to trust and obey Him” @RhondaStoppe
This article by Rhonda Stoppe First Published at: (in)courage
Rhonda Stoppe helps women build “no regrets” lives by mentoring, speaking and writing books that are grounded in Scripture and easy to read. She appears nationally on radio, speaking at women’s, marriage, MOPs and homeschool events. Evangelism is her sweet spot. For more, visit NoRegretsWoman.com.